These guidelines are intended to help the leader of the prayer meeting to conduct periods of praise and worship in a charismatic prayer meeting that are alive, and that help people to grow in their experience of God. The leader should also refer to the article: The Essential Elements of a Prayer Meeting.
Begin with two or three bright songs. Don’t be too lively — people often arrive tired and stressed. On the other hand, this is not the time for quiet songs. The songs should encourage people, and express confidence in, and praise of, God. The songs should be joyful, lifting everyone’s heart, mind and spirit to God.
Welcome new people, and invite everyone to welcome one another.
Invite people to sit as soon as the first two or three songs have been sung. If you leave them standing for a long time, people will not want to come back.
Begin with an opening prayer (perhaps contributed by another person). Call on the Holy Spirit.
Invite people to give thanks. Encourage everyone to speak out.
Give an explanation of the worship time if there are newcomers. Explain praying in tongues, prophecy and times of silence. Encourage newcomers to join in praise in ways that are familiar to them (using familiar prayers, for example). Encourage people to speak, even if they have just one word, or an image.
The songs of praise should become quieter after some time, and have an emphasis on worship.
A useful activity is to ask people to pray for the person on either side of them, asking them to wait in silence for words of knowledge. After praying, ask them to share that word, if any, with the person.
Don’t be afraid of periods of silence/listening. However, always make sure that the group knows what is happening. There should never be periods of ‘dead’ silence where no one is participating, or where people are unsure of what is expected.
Invite short readings from Scripture. Encourage people to come prepared.
Balance is needed. The leader should not say too much. This is not a time to preach or teach. The Leader should smoothly and quickly move into the next phase. Nor should it be simply a period of singing songs with no introduction.
Continually encourage people to speak out words of thanksgiving and praise throughout the time of praise and worship. One way of doing this is to put The Litany of Praise up on an overhead and to invite people to speak aloud one of the listed titles of Jesus.
Be open to spiritual gifts throughout, and be ready to alter your plans if you believe the Holy Spirit is so leading. The leader has the prime responsibility for sensing what the Spirit is doing, but the other leaders share in this responsibility and should be ready to speak out.
The opening period of praise and worship should last at least 30 minutes.
‘Singing in the Spirit’ should occur more than once, and be sustained, during the praise and worship time. Remember that you can also have shorter periods of praise later in the meeting (before or after intercessory prayer, or after a testimony, are other good times).